by Tessa Dare


Overall: ⭐️⭐️
Plot/Storyline: 📖📖
Feels: 🦋🦋
Romance: 💞💞
Emotional Depth:💔💔
Sexual Tension:⚡️⚡️⚡️
Sensuality: 🔥🔥🔥
Sex Scene Length: 🍆🍆🍆🍆

I Had a weird relationship with the first half of this book. It was simultaneously thrilling and boring. The sex was fantastic but the plot was tedious. When they were together I loved the feels and angst. I was soaring. But everything in between was like trudging through mud. There were parts where I couldn’t put it down and then immediately following, I had trouble giving it my undivided attention and felt I needed a break.

And by page 180 I felt like I’d read 300 pages. It was like like a bad episode of television that feels like two hours instead of one, but you can’t turn it off because it’s a show you love. And you kind of want to abandon it but you feel like you should just finish it, because you want to know even though you also kind of don’t, and “oh my god, I still have 100 pages left??”

On the one hand, Lucy was a bit of a refreshing heroine coming from Tessa Dare. She wasn’t the bookish, spinster bluestocking, with a weird fixation on strange creatures. Instead she was essentially a tomboy. On the other hand, this tomboy persona was at odds with a central part of her character, which was that she had gone from girl to woman without anyone noticing. Except there was no real reason to notice. She behaved like a child for most of the book and was caught between half-child, half-woman with her girlish habits that bordered unattractive and painted her as a gawky and awkward little girl. 

Perfect example: Lucy sucked on her hair. Which, I don’t know, is that supposed to be alluring? Sexy in some way? I personally find it disgusting. So, blech. 

And all of this kind of hampered my enjoyment of the heroes heat for her. I mean, damn. I love a lusty hero. I want them pining. Drooling. Panting, even. Unable to tear the heroine from their minds. And that’s where Jeremy was. Normally, I would love that. And I’ll admit, there were definitely hot moments. Steam and feels. Right up my alley. But at the same time, I couldn’t get past this idea that the only reason he suddenly saw Lucy as a woman was because he saw the outline of her breasts beneath a thin night shift. Was that all he needed? Curves? Or does her behavior matter too? I’m not sure it did. 

That’s not to say I didn’t feel anything. His pining tugged at my heart. She wasn’t his. He wanted her. There was angst. I love angst. But WHY did he want her? That was a question never truly answered. Except for saying: she had boobs. 

And I guess, she needed him. She had a brother/guardian who hardly paid her attention and pretty much chastised her for anything. And lots of animosity between Jeremy and Lucy’s brother, also Jeremy’s best friend, without it feeling appropriate. Jeremy had this impression that her brother was not taking care of her. And I suppose he wasn’t the best guardian. But all we really see of that is a few churlish jokes and a lack of compassion for her girlhood fantasy of marrying a different best friend. So why is Jeremy so angry with him? Shrug. I’m guessing blue balls. 

All that complaining, so what exactly got me through the first half of the book? Well, it was the pining. The want. The desire. It was Jeremy. My god he wanted her so bad I could barely stand it for him. They have THE. HOTTEST. MAKE OUT. SESSION. EVER. Jesus. They were basically frantic for each other. And Jeremy’s thoughts through this were those perfect possessive hero catnip type thoughts. “Mine. Mine. Mine.” Oh, yes. Yes. Yes! He was on fire for her and it was so damned hot. 

But then, after this super hot and intense make out session where Jeremy is just drowning in desire for Lucy, she’s still thinking of another man and boy did I want to throttle her. And I couldn’t help but think that her willingness to fall into Jeremy’s arms, at first, was a matter of desperation. Attention seeking at its most revolting. I was mad at her. And I felt bad for Jeremy. And even after she does an about face, she’s not clear with him that she isn’t thinking about this other guy and it felt like a plague in the book that they weren’t communicating their feelings.

And then in the second half, all of the sudden Jeremy’s passion just dried up and disappeared. He’s able to control himself and we completely lose any aspect of his desire, until close to the end. And he’s also become untrustworthy. He says he’ll take care of her and then proceeds to do the exact opposite. He complained that no one was considerate of her feelings and then forgets them himself. He says he wants a her to reign in her behavior and be a proper society wife and dress in gowns and go to balls and then never takes her into society and they don’t attend any balls. The man in the beginning of this book, is not the same man at the end. And I don’t mean that in a good way. It wasn’t character development. It felt like lack of direction or an error. Who he was in the beginning, was forgotten.

God, was he dense, too. He couldn’t figure anything out! One second Lucy is saying “don’t ever let me go” and then next he’s thinking she’s gonna leave him. Dude, get a grip.

And on top of that Lucy keeps threatening to put him in his place but keeps not doing that. Instead she is trying to drive him crazy with boring meal planning and soup eating and other childish behavior.

And I was just bored out of my mind.

The culmination where Jeremy’s secret was revealed was not a strong enough thing to come between his and Lucy’s relationship. Not the event that caused it, but the things that reminded him of it. It wasn’t a good enough breaking point, in my opinion. And 90% of their problems could have been resolved with a simple conversation. These two miscommunicated until the bitter end.

And Tessa Dare, my god, is the queen of interruptions. This book, in particular, felt like she had one thing to say but interrupted it 75 times just to spread it out. It was exasperating.

Honestly, if I hadn’t written any of this review as I read the book, I probably would keep this short and just tell you it was boring and I wanted to abandon it. I was skipping parts and paying attention to it like when I have to pay attention to something extraordinarily dull and can’t wait to leave. Tapping my fingers on the table and swinging around in my chair like a bored child.

I just could not wait to be done with it and I started feeling that way by about page 180. The sex at the end would have been good, if I wasn’t just tired of these two by that point. This book started at a 4 and slowly shed off half stars until it was barely a 2.

Sorry Tessa, but this one was rough.

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